Overall Saudi Arabia (with 827,000 b/d) retained its place as Korea’s top crude supplier in January, ahead of Kuwait (473,000 b/d) and Iraq (447,000 b/d), the same top three as for 2018 as a whole when all three supplied record volumes: 875,000 b/d for Saudi Arabia, 447,000 b/d for Kuwait and 391,000 b/d for Iraq (see MEES, 11 January for full 2018 data).

Despite this, the market share of both the Middle East and Opec has been on the slide: at 74.4% and 77.6% respectively for 2018,...